Discover SWIRLnet

The Surface Weather Relay and Logging Network

To study wind fields that impact communities during severe wind events the Cyclone Testing Station at JCU and the Wind Research Laboratory at The University of Queensland have developed a Surface Weather Relay and Logging Network called SWIRLnet. We have six 3.2 m towers with anemometers that record and store data on wind speed, wind direction, temperature, relative humidity and pressure. Ten minute summaries of the data are uploaded via mobile network.

The SWIRLnet project has allowed rapid deployment of anemomter towers to measure and provide real time data for cyclones crossing the coast.

Wind Speed


Wind speed measurement systems are sparse in the tropical regions of Australia. Tropical cyclone wind speeds impacting communities are often approximated from analysing damaged structures. SWIRLnet provides a re-locatable anemometer system to enable measurements of wind speeds.

Cyclone Debbie

Wind Speed Data

Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie was a category 4 system that made landfall near Airlie Beach on the north Queensland coast at midday on the 28th of March, 2017. We deployed SWIRLnet weather stations to the region prior to Cyclone Debbie’s landfall. Six SWIRLnet towers (3.2 m high anemometers placed in the communities likely to be affected) collected data continuously prior to, during and after landfall. Three towers were deployed in the Ayr/Home Hill region, two in Bowen and one in Proserpine.

To view all available charts for each tower, please cycle through them using the buttons that appear below each chart. Each tower will have at least two charts, one showing wind speed data and the second showing atmospheric pressure.

The figures above show mean wind speed (10-minute average), gust wind speed (maximum 3-second gust within the preceding 10-minutes), mean wind direction and atmospheric pressure measured by each of the deployed SWIRLnet towers. All wind measurements are at 3.2 m above local ground level and have NOT been adjusted to standard 10 m elevation, open terrain values. No stringent quality control has been carried out on the data prior to generating these figures.


SWIRLnet is a collaborative project between the University of Queensland and JCU.

The CTS would also like to thank the Queensland Government. The Secure and Rapid Deployment of the SWIRLnet project is a joint initiative of the Cyclone Testing Station at James Cook University and the Queensland Government.

Special thanks to Risk Management Solutions (RMS) who directly support the SWIRLnet program.